Friday, 24 August 2012

How Does your Personal Body Image Affect your Exercise

Your personal body image can have a profound effect on your weight in a number of ways. You can become dangerously overweight or underweight if you have a poor image of yourself, so you need to learn to look at yourself realistically, with help from outside sources if need be.

When Your Image Makes You Lose Weight Excessively

If you look at yourself in the mirror and see someone who's overweight, whether you are or not, you may begin to lose weight at a dangerous pace. The healthiest way to lose weight is to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. However, your poor self-image could make you try fad diets and push yourself to the limit. You may engage in bulimic or anorexic tendencies by a combination of starving yourself, purging your food and/or over exercising. Being underweight puts you at risk for many serious health conditions.

When Your Image Makes You Gain Weight

There's another way that a poor body image can impact your weight and that's by making you gain weight. If you find yourself avoiding looking in the mirror because you think your body is unattractive and if you tell yourself that there's no point in trying to lose weight because you'll always be overweight, you may be in danger of not getting adequate exercise and overeating. If you're ashamed of your body, you may be less likely to go out in public to exercise and find the friends who can help encourage you to work out and stick to a diet. If you can't summon the motivation to lose weight or keep your body at a healthy weight, you might gain weight.

When Your Body Image Impacts Your Weight

The easiest way to combat the weight gain or loss you may experience due to a poor self-image is to find a doctor or someone you can trust to tell you the truth without sparing your feelings (within reason). Your body image may be skewed; anorexic people, for example, are dangerously underweight but only see an overweight person in the mirror. Being ashamed of being overweight could be less of an issue than you think; if you're only a few pounds overweight, your health may not be in danger. Friends and loved ones may even find you attractive with more voluptuous curves.
A doctor should be able to tell you if you really do need to lose weight and what you can do to lose weight in a healthy manner. If you still struggle with a poor self-image, your doctor may recommend counselling so that you can work on your self esteem and learn to embrace the positives when it comes to the way your body looks....................................

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Tips to Get the Most of Your Gym Workout

If you're going to spend your valuable time at the gym, don't you want to ensure that you're getting the most out of each workout? Your time is valuable and you deserve to get great value from your time investment. 
The following are a number of tips that ensure that you're not wasting precious time and effort, while getting the results you want.

1. Go in with a plan
Know what you're going to do the minute you step in the gym.  Having that focus and clarity will ensure that no time is wasted and that every second you spend will contribute to your plan.  Also, be sure to know what your fitness goals so you are working towards them, be it fat loss, muscle gain, etc.

2.  Keep a workout journal
Making sure you've got the right weight, knowing the reps you need to shoot for, reviewing how you've felt after previous workouts gives you a great baseline for each workout and something to strive to improve upon.

3. Wear an mp3 player
This does three things: it makes your workout more enjoyable, it prevents people from talking to you and interrupting your workout, and studies show that listening to music can actually improve your performance.

4. Drink lots of water
Keeping yourself hydrated is key to ensuring you have a great workout.  Take a water bottle with a goal to try and finish it at each session.

5. Warm up/Cool Down
Prevent injury and improve your performance by doing a light 5 minute warm up before your work out and a 5 minute cool down after your workout.

6.  Wear proper clothing
Sure we all want to look the part, but clothing that is functional should be first and foremost.

7. Use compound exercises
If you're lifting weights, make sure you have some compound or multi-joint exercises within your workout to hit multiple muscles at once.

8. Forget about reading anything
If you can read during your workout, you're not working hard enough.

9. Lift heavy or go to failure
If you're lifting weights and want to see results, be sure to lift heavy so you struggle to complete your last rep.  As a rule of thumb, avoid rep ranges above 15 reps.  If you're doing cardio, make sure you work hard to get that heart rate up while pushing yourself.  The more you put in, the more you'll get out of it.

10.  Change it up
You need to continue to challenge your body and shock it into seeing results.  This means changing up your workout on a regular basis, such as every 4-6 weeks.  If you feel physically comfortable with your workout, then it's time to get out of it.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Importance of Wedding Fitness

In preparation for your big day, wedding fitness can be very important, especially when it come to fitting into your dream dress. While your wedding day is a joyous celebratory occasion, it also comes with a reasonable amount of stress.

Preparing for a wedding and making the seemingly endless arrangements can test a young couple's mental and physical fitness. Unfortunately, wedding fitness can often get overlooked because of the other plans that are being made. While brides will want to look beautiful on their wedding day, they often make the mistake of trying fad diets that can be harmful to their overall health and drain them of the energy they need to get ready for their big day.

So, why is fitness so important? Probably the main issue is stress. To clarify, stress isn't always a result of something going "bad." Stress can occur whenever we have extra pressures or huge changes in our lives, even the good kind. Planning a wedding is the perfect example.
In order to cope with the extra stress of planning your wedding, we need to make sure our bodies are prepared. A healthy diet and regular exercise will contribute to our overall fitness and can help us cope with the pressures of wedding planning. For decades, scientific research has shown that healthy eating combined with exercise actually reduces stress levels. Ultimately, the healthier we are, the better equipped we are to deal with stress. This is why wedding fitness is so crucial.
Another reason brides and grooms are often concerned with wedding fitness is because they want to look like absolute perfection. It's totally understandable that you would want to look fantastic with everyone watching you. Other than the excitement of such a wonderful event, one of the great things about your wedding is that you can use it as a motivator to get healthy for the rest of your life.
In the days leading up to your big day, you will need all the energy you have in order to make sure every arrangement goes smoothly. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, you can achieve both wedding fitness and lifetime fitness. The months before your wedding provide the perfect opportunity for you to learn how to cook healthy and delicious meals. You can also incorporate an exercise plan that will help you achieve your ideal fitness goals. A young couple can work together to become more fit and can hopefully take what they've learned and continue their healthy ways after the wedding.
As far as teaching you how to be healthy, fad diets have nothing to offer. They make unrealistic promises about weight loss and rely on short-term solutions to your fitness problems. Looking for fast and easy answers may help you lose weight but cannot help you achieve wedding fitness. Plus, fad diets usually ignore the importance of exercise and can end up draining us of the energy we need. The only healthy way to reach your ideal fitness levels is through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

The good news is that once you learn the skills to live healthy, they'll be with you forever!

Friday, 29 June 2012

5 Weekend Weight Loss Tricks

The weekend is upon you. Do you have plans? Do those plans include exercising, eating well, and staying fit? If not, and for most people this is rarely a part of the plan, there are some things you can do to keep from gaining weight or falling too far off the wagon. According to some research, women consume about 115 more calories each day over the weekend than they do during the week. Those extra calories can tack on about nine to ten pounds each year. That is why you need a few tips to help you to avoid weekend weight gain.
Put Down the Alcohol
What you may not realize about the alcoholic beverages you are drinking is that they are high in calories. It may be hard to stop drinking them, but at least minimize what you are drinking. Choose lighter versions of beer, for example, to get fewer calories. It is a good idea to skip those desert-like drinks altogether since those drinks tend to have the highest number of calories in them.
Don't Forget to Eat
You are busy shopping and hanging out with friends. You may shop your way right through your Saturday lunch. That is not a good idea because once you do catch up to a meal, you will find yourself consuming too much. In addition, you may find yourself eating more of the wrong foods as a result. If you will be busy during lunchtime, you should at least pack a snack to take with you, such as nuts or granola.
Monitor Cinema Eating
Are you heading to the cinema this weekend? If so, put down the popcorn and the diet coke. Both of these can kill any of your good eating habits during the week. In fact, a pop and popcorn combo can pack a hefty 1600 calories, depending on the size. That is a lot of calories for just one person for one meal. The better option, then, is to bring your own foods, if your movie theatre lets you. Try the 100 calorie packs of goodies available pre-packaged for you otherwise. Many cinema theatres now offer these.
Date Night Dinner Mistakes
When heading out for that special dinner, do take the time to focus on what you are eating. Choose foods that are healthy for you. Skip out on fatty deserts that make you feel bad after that date, too. You may want to choose the smallest steak or go for the vegetables instead of the baked potato. These small changes will help to reduce the weekend weight gain.
Stay Active
Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make on the weekends is not doing anything. Get busy. Go for a run, swim or play a game of football with your friends.
By doing these things, you keep your body in line for your health goals throughout the week. At the same time, though, you are not depriving yourself of the things you love to do or of the time that you get to spend with your friends.
Thank you! Have a great weekend.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Fun Facts

Did you know.....

That Olive Oil has an abundance of polyphenols, monounsaturated fat and vitamin E? What does this mean? Read to find out.

Olive Oil is one of the most heart-healthiest options in the oil department. 75 percent of calories come from monounsaturated fat, which confers heart protection by lowering LDL (Bad) cholesterol while simultaneously raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Polyphenols is a potent antioxidant plant compound which has been shown to reduce bone loss, improve cholesterol levels, decrease blood pressure, stemming the spread of cancerous cells, reduce inflammation and prevent the bunching together of blood platelets which protect against stroke and heart attacks.

This doesn’t mean to take a bottle of extra virgin or virgin olive oil and drink it straight. Use it moderately in your cooking and you have a great flavourful component that is on your side for all the good reasons.

Avocado Oil

· Rich in Vitamin E and cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat(72 percent of calories come from this heart-friendly fat)
· Ohio state University researchers showed that adding avocado oil to salad improves absorption of fat-soluble antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and eye-protecting lutein, found in salad vegetables.

Coconut Oil

· Loaded with saturated fat (about 12 grams per table spoon) BUT most of this is in the form of lauric acid-a medium chain triglyceride(MCT)
· Because of the unique structure, MCTs are more likely to be burned for energy in our bodies rather than stored as body fat.

Flaxseed Oil
· Flaxseed is the best source of the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) of all the dietary oils.

· ALA helps quell inflammation, a trigger for several chronic diseases.
· 2009 study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that omega-3 can help regulate heart rate.

Grape Seed Oil

· Great source of antioxidant and vitamin E as well as a beneficial monounsaturated fats, including oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid.
· Oleic Acid has been found, during digestion is converted into oleoylethanolamide (OEA), a hunger fighting hormone that stimulates cells which tell the brain that you’re full.

Hemp Oil
· Verdant hemp oil abounds with essential omega-6 and omega-3 fats.
· These fats are present in a 3:1 ration in hem oil which is the best ratio for wellbeing.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

· High in healthful polyunsaturated fat and is loaded with vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that research suggests reduces inflammation and slashes lung and prostate cancer risk.
· Antioxidants like vitamin E protect our cells against the harmful effects of free radicals.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Healthy Eating on a Budget

When times are tough, it is time to dig deep and come up with strategies that are part and parcel of most health and fitness enthusiasts’ armoury, yet rarely show their face in most people’s day–to-day habits.

If fitness enthusiasts didn’t watch their purse strings when it came to eating right they would be cast aside in an attempt to get leaner or bigger! Their food bills would be astronomical.

So what can you do to a) eat healthier foods b) save time in the kitchen and c) save pennies!

Here are few tried and tested strategies that work really well to cover your nutritional bases and also allow you to eat right on a budget.

1. Buy your meat from a local butcher – this goes without saying. I love going into my butcher. Fresh, traceable meat that is far richer in nutrients and more economical.
Don’t be afraid to mix up and try cheaper organ meats. These are powerhouses of nutrition. Just ask a Premiership Rugby Player – his staple diet, at 18 stone and 12 per cent body fat, is liver and heart kebabs!
2. Buy your meat, fish and poultry in bulk and try and negotiate a discount. You will always need fresh protein on hand any way to keep up with your healthy eating strategies. Why not buy a few days worth and freeze the rest?
3. Use the local farmers markets as your port of call for fresh veggies and fruits. More often than not you will be able to pick up organic produce at half the price than say a supermarket. You will be doing your bit for supporting local produce too! You know the people that actually care about what goes into your mouth when you buy it!

4. Stick to the outside aisles of your supermarket. This will mean that you save a huge amount on costly boxed, packaged and wrapped items. In general these tend to be foods that will scupper your plans to keep fit and healthy over the Winter Months. My food bill is by no means through the roof yet I still tuck away around 3500-4000 calories a day. This is a lot of food!
My Nan always brings to my attention how cooking a stew, roast, casserole costs about a £1.00 whereas you compare this to a serving of waffles, burgers, chips and Ice Cream will knock you back about three times that and the cost of a visit to the Doctor as your Immune System cries out for some nutrients.

5. Buy In Season will mean that you are working with nature rather than against it. Ever wondered why your Strawberries from Columbia are three times the size of a normal Strawberry and looking more like a peach devoid of all colour?

Our love of the humble Strawberry has led us to crave them all year round but this is not how it is suppose to be. The bottom line is that you still pay three times as much for them.

6. Stick to buying loose items too rather than packs of items. This is a cheaper option and will mean that you waste less.

7. It is also funny how a simple Bolognese or chilli sauce can cost three times as much when you choose the jars. Not only are these ladened with hidden sugar but also a Bolognese sauce is so easy and cheap to make.

Simply get a tin of chopped tomatoes, some mixed herbs, garlic, salt and pepper and hey presto. For a chilli sauce add in chilli. A trained chimp could knock that up.
8. Cook More Veggie Based Dishes at this time of year. Veggies are nutrition power houses and let’s face it, we don’t eat anywhere near enough of these. Stir Fries, casseroles, bowls of salad readymade in the fridge are great for this.
9. You can also juice Your Veggies to save on waste. A good juicer is a good investment particularly if your kids like vegetables as much as they like going to the dentist. Celery, Carrot and Apple is a great little formula. Throw in some ginger if you like a bit of a kick!

10. I refuse to fill up with hydrogenated breads, pastries and biscuits so Mr Baker watch out. Swap your normal flour for Spelt, use Coconut Oil instead of Margarine or Raw Organic Butter, Splenda instead of Sugar and hey presto you have your baking basics.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Have a Look What is in Your Fridge...

When it comes to fitness for rugby you have to cover ALL your bases and yes that includes your nutrition. It is like trying to drive a maserati with diesel in the tank.
So here is a glimpse of what is my fridge - all the time.

For those voyeurs amongst you, I thought I would give you a peek into the staples of my fridge (and freezer).

As I have always mentioned, good nutritional choices win out in the end i.e. over fanatically counting calories.

That is not to say calories don’t matter. Of course they do. However, most of us either chronically under-eat or overeat. The middle ground, as always, is to eat healthily 90% of the time with good sound nutritional principles allowing the other 10% for the rules to fly out of the window.

If we are honest most of us eat healthy choices about 50% of the time and wonder why fat starts appearing in awkward places.

“I just can’t seem to get rid of this” as they grab their spare tyre.

Well – start by cleaning up your home. If that is not a safe haven you can be rest assured that being out and about will be an uphill struggle.

If it is in your pantry IT WILL END UP IN YOUR MOUTH. I have never seen this fail. Try
throwing out a packet of unopened biscuits. Go on, try it. It will be like prizing away a kid’s toy. There will be pangs of guilt if you attempt to delve into your bin again, even a feeling of sadness.

“But they were going to bring so much joy and happiness”

You are addicted to sugar. It is not your fault. You just are. Face it. Deal with it. Here are my Top

Ten Foods that are in my fridge and form the cornerstone of my nutrition.
Grass Fed Beef – if you want sustained energy for the day then kick it off with some grass fed beef. Rich in Omega-3 and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) both super fat burners and anti-cancer agents.

Salmon – this is one of the best sources of Omega 3, which reduce heart disease and inflammatory conditions. It is also rich in vitamins B, A an D.

Omega 3 Rich Eggs – it is like most food an egg is not just an egg, a fish is not just a fish. It all depends on where it came from, the soil it is raised in, the diet it was exposed to. Eggs are no exception. Buy organic or Omega 3 enriched eggs. These are a super fast food. Whip up omelettes or have a few hard boiled in the fridge as a quick snack.

Flax Seeds – I love my Omega 3s! Flax is a potent source of Omega 3 and works well in
balancing out your hormonal profile. It is also rich in fibre.

Greens Powder – who eats 10-12 servings of veggies a day? Hands up! Veggies maintain the natural acid-alkaline balance that exists within each and every one of our body’s cells. When this becomes unbalanced then problems occur. Stress, intensive training and proteins will tip us towards acidosis. So not only make sure that two thirds of your plate is veggies but also use green drinks as a great pick-me-up throughout the day.

Fish Oil – every man, women and child should be taking this. The benefits are far beyond the scope if this piece. Let’s just say- name any ailment that you can think of and fish oil will help.

Broccoli – men with moobs and overly emotional women listen up. Broccoli (and watercress) will help in shifting fat in embarrassing areas and balancing your emotional state. How? It is rich in phytoestrogens that balance out the bad oestrogen that is within your system. A powerhouse of nutrients and fibre too.

Blueberries – low in sugar, high in fibre rich in antioxidants these little beauties are a powerhouse of nutrition. Try them frozen with natural yoghurt and cinnamon. Lovely.

Spinach – one of the best natural sources of folic acid, a great alkaline food and superb for preventing heart disease. Popeye was right. I use it as a base for salads.

There is more. And variety is the key. But have a close look at the staples in your fridge. Try swapping one poor choice for one of the above and a positive step has been taken already.

When it comes to rugby fitness then make sure that your nutrition matches your efforts on the pitch.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

What Is Boot Camp?

A boot camp fitness class is a highly challenging instructor-led workout routine based upon military fitness regimens. The class is usually held outdoors and involves a mixture of calisthenics, strength training, and flexibility-enhancing moves.

Although it is notoriously physically and psychologically strenuous, the boot camp fitness class can burn as many as 600 calories, greatly stimulate weight loss, and improve cardiovascular health and muscle tone.

Boot camp classes are generally intended to have the no-nonsense ethos associated with military training. This aspect of the program is meant to motivate and discipline participants. Thus classes, which typically meet in an outdoor space such as a park, usually proceed even in inclement weather. In addition, boot camp fitness class instructors often deliver instructions — and in some cases, reprimands — in a stern, drill-sergeant style.

In general, a boot camp fitness class lasts for a period of approximately one hour. This time is usually split into sections which address different elements of physical fitness. Often the first and last sections are devoted to warm-up and cool-down exercises and flexibility-boosting stretches. Perhaps the centrepieces of the workout, however, are its sometimes gruelling calisthenics and strength training moves.

Rugby Revenge Bootcamp


Boot camp workouts are efficient because you work your entire body-- heart and muscles--by going from one exercise to another with no rest. The workouts involve calisthenics like push ups, star jumps, crunches and other body weight exercises...the difference lies in the intensity.

In boot camp, your challenge is to take your body to its limit!

You work, you sweat and, best of all, you burn calories like crazy! Fantastic for body sculpting, stamina, endurance and overall fitness.

  • Warm up with 5-10 minutes of light cardio.Perform each exercise one after the other for 60 seconds, modifying as needed.
  • Complete all ten exercises for a 10 minute workout, or repeat the series 2-3 more times for longer workout.
  • Finish with competitive team relays.
  • Cool down with 5-10 minutes of light cardio and stretching

Overall this is an excellent, fun and enjoyable way to keep your fitness up, build strength and endurance to stay the distance.

Rugby Team:  £2.50 per session

Everyone else: £5.00 per session

The more you sweat in training the less you bleed in battle!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Have You Really Not Got The Time To Exercise

It’s seems so easy to put off exercising. The long work hours, jobs to do at home, friends and family to see … hitting the gym ends up being yet another forgotten item on an overwhelming to-do list.

After all, “I don’t have time” seems like a decent enough excuse. You’ve got other priorities. You might not even like exercise much. And those folks who do spend an hour or two every day walking, cycling or working out? They’re clearly not very focused on their work or the other “should do’s in their life.
The thing is, if you’re busy, you can’t afford not to exercise.
Exercise Will Give You More Energy
Maybe you’re put off exercising because you’re worried about being tired. If you hit the gym at lunch, you’ll be exhausted all afternoon, won’t you?
Actually, probably not. Sure, if you overdo things and push yourself too hard, you might feel tired – but moderate exercise will get your blood pumping and leave you more alert and energetic.
If you’re struggling with just getting through the day, then try taking some exercise. Sitting at the computer for ten hours straight might feel productive (“I got into work at six this morning…”) but you’re probably slowing down, making mistakes and missing out on creative insights.
Exercise Lowers Your Stress Levels
It’s hard to work when you’re feeling anxious, upset or angry. Yes, you might be able to pour some of that negative energy into your work (“I’m going to get this $%”& report done!”) – But overall, you’re going to find that it’s hard to concentrate.
Being stressed out isn’t good for you or for the people around you. How often have you snapped at a colleague or family member, just because you were in a bad mood? How often have you had to spend time patching up that relationship?
When you’re stressed, you might feel that the last thing you want to do is summon up the motivation to get some exercise. Get moving anyway. Once you’ve been jogging or cycling for a few minutes, you’ll find the stress melting away – almost miraculously. Exercising has a proven effect on our mental state, so much so that doctors now “prescribe” exercise for milder cases of depression.
Exercise Prevents Health Problems
How much work are you going to get done if you land up in a hospital bed? A lot of health conditions – especially long term, chronic ones – are heavily linked to lifestyle factors. If you’re unfit and rarely or never exercise, you’re putting yourself at greater risk of stroke, heart disease and cancer.
If you have a piece of equipment at work that’s vital to your job, you take good care of it: you wouldn’t be able to do any work at all if it broke down. Do you take similarly good care of your body?
Along with a healthy diet and getting enough Sleep, exercising is hugely important in staying healthy – or even getting back to a greater state of health.
Exercise Can Help You Think
I’ll bet that, at some point in your life, you’ve had the experience of a great idea coming to you when you’re not at your desk. Perhaps you were in the shower, out walking, chilling out with friends, or doing something else totally unrelated to your work.
When you’re busy, it’s tempting to keep on trying to do your work. That makes it hard to think about it in a creative way, or with new perspective. Getting away from your desk and heading to the gym (or pool or running track) gives you the “head space” which you need in order to come up with new ideas.
You might even want to keep a notebook or voice recorder to hand, so that you can jot your ideas down.
So … have you really got the time not to exercise? What could you do today to be more active?

Monday, 30 April 2012

Overcoming Boredom

Halfway through the year, it's a sure bet that at least 45% of people who set out to be more fit this year have already given up. Sure you gave up because you were busy or overworked or there was just one too many things on your plate. Many of you still want to achieve your goals whether it's losing that extra few pounds or just going for the best shape you can.
Determination > Boredom
Determination is a necessary quality whether you are beginning a new project or staying the course of an older one. Determination keeps you going even when you want to quit. Determination pushes you out of bed in the morning and drives with you to the gym. Determination can help you avoid the boredom traps along the way.
 Trap #1 - Expecting results overnight
 Trap #2 - Using a repetitive routine with no variations
 Trap #3 - Not planning ahead for any exercise
Boredom Traps

The problem with boredom is that we are a society that is weaned on instant gratification. We want fast loading computers, fast running cars, the shortest, fastest line at the supermarket store (even the do it yourself line is faster if no one is in front of us) and we want the perception that we're going to get there before anyone else.
It's the 10 second rule. You look around in a department store for assistance and if you don't see anyone who can help you in 10 seconds, you feel like you've been looking for several minutes. This may seem delusional, but in retail, remember, the customer is always right.
We want results and we want them now. You work out for a week, getting up every morning and doing your best - you want to feel like you did something by the following day. You want those results and too often when you don't get them, you get bored with the routine and either give up or try to do something else.
Boredom Punishes

Even when you don't get results overnight, you can push yourself too hard. You can do the same grueling routine over and over and over again. You can become convinced that doing it just one more time will get you the results you want, it worked in the beginning right? Remember, we've talked about muscle memory and our muscles are a lot smarter than we are sometimes. Doing the same routine over and over again without varying doesn't build or burn, it just maintains.
Boredom is Boring

Boredom can exist anywhere in a workout routine. It can be the repetitive motions, the repetitive atmosphere or even just using the same equipment over and over. (I love my treadmill, but occasionally I really need to give it a break). Sometimes you need to plan ahead (what may seem to be a boring task) what you will or won't do in your exercise routine in order to avoid more boredom in the future.
What do you do?

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

What Makes a Good Personal Trainer?

I have heard and read about personal trainer stories that just make you wonder where did these personal trainers get their training from? For those of us who seek out the help of a personal trainer, it's important that we don't end up with someone who isn't very qualified or just doesn't care about their client's well-being. As with anyone you hire to provide a service, you want the best for your money. How can you know if a personal trainer is qualified and genuinely cares about helping you? Below are some things to look out for.

Beware of the personal trainers that:
Tell women not to lift weights
 I won't go into the details of the importance of lifting weights for both women and men, but if a personal trainer tells women not to lift weights - dump that trainer fast!

Cut your calories to a dangerous level
 Reducing calories helps in shedding pounds but be weary of a personal trainer that suggests reducing calories to dangerous levels. If you're in doubt consult with a nutritionist or your doctor.

Won't track your progress
 I've seen both types of trainers at my gym. The ones that carry a log book or clipboard as they train clients, and those that don’t. If I had to choose one, I'd consider the one that is logging their client’s progress. A good trainer will track everything - exercises, weight lifted, measurements, sets, reps, etc.

Tell you that you must purchase vitamins and supplements
 This will happen most often in the larger gym franchises. Many times the personal trainers are also pressured to up sell these items. A recommendation is fine but they shouldn't make you feel like they are required to be in shape.

Daydream while they're spotting you
A trainer should not be dazing off into the distance as you are performing your reps. They should be focused on you ensuring that you have proper form and that you aren't struggling with the exercise.

Push you too hard
 Most people think that working out hard is a sign of a good trainer. A bad personal trainer will take advantage of that and push you beyond your limits to avoid really doing their job. You shouldn't be in pain after a training session.

Tips before hiring a personal trainer:
If you're going through your gym ask about a free training session before buying a package)
Ask for referrals from friends or family
Those are just some of the things to be aware of when considering a personal trainer. Feel free to leave more tips or advice in the comments.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Rueben Bake


1 Package Extra-Lean Boneless Turkey Tenderloins
1 (8 ounce) Can Sauerkraut, drained
1/2 Tsp. Caraway Seeds
1/4 Cup Fat Free Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Chili Sauce
1/4 Cup Shredded Reduced-fat Swiss Cheese

Directions: Heat oven to 35Gas Mark 4. Grease a square baking dish 9X9X2 with cooking spray. Place tenderloins in dish. Spoon sauerkraut evenly over turkey and sprinkle with caraway. In a bowl, mix mayo and chili sauce; spoon over turkey. Cover dish with foil and bake until turkey is no longer pink in center, about 30-35 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and bake until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).

Serves: 4
Exchanges: 1 Vegetable, 5 Extra Lean Proteins, 1 Fat

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Exercise - How to Get Yourself Motivated

It is a fact of life: you need regular exercise to stay healthy. You understand the importance of regular exercise, but may struggle with motivation. Although what constitutes effective motivation differs from one person to another, common threads emerge. Find the motivation that suits your personality and lifestyle and stick with it.


How much you get out of an exercise session has a lot to do with how much you enjoy doing it. Here are some suggestions that might make working out more fun. Working out with a friend or family member adds a social aspect to exercising. Keeping track of one another's progress can be motivating. Buying you some special exercise clothes may also add a fun dimension to exercising. The clothes don't have to be expensive, but should be something you like wearing. If your workout involves running, biking, or walking, go somewhere fun, such as a park or a friend's house. Rotate the places you go to avoid getting bored.


Many people find setting goals powerfully motivating. It's fun to keep track of your progress, and meeting your goals allows you to celebrate your successes. As you meet a goal, set another that is slightly tougher. Make sure your goals are achievable; setting goals that you cannot meet is discouraging. Unrealistic goals that involve pushing yourself too hard can be dangerous.
There are different types of goals you can choose. Distance goals are helpful if you enjoy running, walking or cycling. Speed goals are also good for these types of activities. Endurance goals are useful if you use a treadmill, elliptical, swim or participate in another type of aerobic workout. Repetition goals are well suited to weight training and calisthenics.


If you are not used to exercising, starting a regimented exercise program may seem overwhelming. Incorporating physical activity into your daily life may be a good motivator to transition into other forms of exercise. Walk or bike to nearby places instead of driving. Take the stairs instead of riding an elevator. Park at a distance when going to the store rather than looking for the closest parking space. These simple changes in your daily life can lead to increased strength and endurance. You may notice that you're no longer winded when you take the stairs or that you're walking faster than you used to. These changes can help motivate you to take the next step in making exercise a routine aspect of your life.


Many people live according to a schedule, which ensures that all of things you need to do are accomplished. Scheduling your exercise can be a good motivator because it means you've set aside time to the exclusion of other activities. This bumps exercise from an "I'll get to it when I can" activity to a important priority. By dedicating a specific time period to exercise, you reinforce the importance of exercise in your life.


Rewards are great motivators for people of all ages. The daily reward for exercising can be as simple as allowing yourself 10 minutes to relax, read a book or play a game. Set your reward ahead of time and follow through each time you exercise. You may want to set bigger rewards that are tied to your exercise goals. For example, you may decide to treat yourself to a movie or go an exhibit or attend a sporting event when you reach your distance or endurance goal. Your reward should be personal, something you truly enjoy.


Talk with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program to be sure it is safe for you. If you have a pre existing medical condition, ask your doctor for suggestions about what type of exercise is best for you.

Best Time Of The Day To Exercise

The best time of the day to exercise depends entirely on the individual. There is a lot of debate about whether it’s better to workout first thing in the morning, in the middle of the day or in the evening. Let’s look at the benefits for each option.

You’ll hear a lot of people claim that the morning is the best time of the day to exercise. Some say that if you workout first thing in the morning, that you’ll burn more calories throughout the day. Even if this theory is true, the amount of extra calories you might burn would be minimal at best. And since AM workouts are more difficult to be consistent with, it’s likely that you’ll end up burning less calories in the long run due to missed sessions. However, if you can workout first thing in the morning and stick to it, you’ll experience more energy and an increase in mental focus throughout the day.

For many people hitting the gym right after work on their way home works the best. The vast majority of gym member’s workout at this time, this is evident by the crowds of people that flood gyms nationwide between the hours of 4-6 pm. The benefit of working out later in the day is that you’ve had all day to wake up, allowing you to work harder. It’s also likely that you’ve had a few meals throughout the day, which is better for those that can’t work out on an empty stomach. Another great reason to hit the gym after work is the stress relief provided by physical activity.

The truth is that the best time of dayto excercise is the time that you can commit to. The best time to exercise is whenever it fits into your working day. For some people it may be the same time every day, for others that time may be different every day. The important thing is to find a way to fit exercise into your day, no matter how busy you are or how long your workouts take. Remember, any physical activity is better than no activity.
Got A Question? Leave a comment?

Sunday, 15 April 2012

No Equipment Workout!

Many times when travelling you may feel that you don’t have the time or resources to locate a gym for a quick workout. Hotel fitness centres may be too crowded or you may not feel like leaving your hotel room.
A quick, basic workout that will keep you going can be done in your room without gym equipment. This workout can be done in as little as 20-30 minutes.
It is important to include stretching in your workout routine. Begin with 5-10 minutes of stretching. The following stretches will help warm up your muscles:
Standing Runners (calf) Stretch – one foot back with knee straight and heel flat on floor; other leg should be in front of you and bent. Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in the calf.
Half Kneeling Stretch (hips/quads) – Keep abs tight and maintain erect posture.
Standing Toe Reach (hamstrings) – standing with feet together, slowly reach toward toes until a stretch is felt in back of thighs. (If you have a bad/sore back trying lying on your back, both legs flat, lift one leg in the air and grab behind the knee. Try to straighten your leg)
Chest Doorway Stretch – standing in door jam with hands on door frame shoulder height. Slowly walk into doorway until a pulling is felt in the chest.
Trunk Rotation – lying on back with feet/knees together and bent to 90 degrees. Arms should be out to the side. Slowly rotate legs to one side while turning head to opposite side.
Hold each stretch for at least 20 – 30 seconds.

Circuit Workout:
20 Squats (use a chair if you’re not sure how to do these – sit and stand)
10 push ups – body should not sag; go deep enough so elbows are at 90 degrees (do push ups on knees if you can’t do regular push ups)
10 bridges – lying on back, legs bent to 90 degrees, lift butt up while keeping abs tight and clenching glutes
Superman– lying on stomach raise arms and legs while keeping stomach clenched – hold 30 seconds.
Plank – get up phase of push up position, hold for 15 seconds (keep abs tight – body should not sag – keep straight as, yes, you guessed it, a PLANK).
20 Elbow-to-knee crunches – lie on back with legs flat on floor; hands behind head, slowly raise up as if doing a crunch, rotate upper body as if trying to touch elbow to OPPOSITE knee, repeat both sides.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Corporate wellness programs can help a company's employees become happier, healthier and more productive. Prevention of disease is a key strategy. Wellness programs can benefit a corporation's bottom line by reducing heath care costs, a crucial consideration. Human resources managers and other executives can defend the costs and benefits of wellness programs to elicit organisational commitment and employee participatipation.
Employers benefits from investing in employee wellness programs. These include: 

  1. Better management of rising healthcare cost 
  2. Reduced absents
  3. Increased productivity
  4. Improved employee morale
  5. Higher employee retention levels 
  6. Improved corporate image

We will help you realize these end benefits by taking a continuing and highly proactive role in hosting on-site or off-site fitness boot camps.   Our solution is not "host and leave" but “teach and achieve.” Our ultimate achievement is to meet or exceed your employees’ health goals which will, in turn better help you meet your business objectives.

Added benefits of A TrueVigor Corporate Fitness Boot Camps are:
  1. Team-building
  2. Leadership training
  3. Group Fun & Accountability